Corey Braunel of Dusted Valley Vintners
23 September 2015
Photos Courtesy of Richard Duvall
Corey Braunel and brother-in-law Chad Johnson, and their wives Cindy and Janet, are all farm kids from Wisconsin. They initially ran from farming to the corporate world, eventually in medical sales. After plenty of client entertaining with nice wines, they decided to return to their farming roots in order to make great wine. They had no idea where Walla Walla was on a map, but the wines they tasted from there inspired them more than any others. Thus there was no question they would head to Walla Walla in 2003 to pursue their dream of growing grapes and making wine. Seven years later in 2010 Dusted Valley Vintners was named Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest.
Corey and Chad are known for taking risks when they make wines, and one of the risks they took was to abandon corks. All their wines no matter how expensive have screw tops for sealers. They believe there's no better way to deliver their promise regarding what's in the bottle than to seal with screw caps. Off the record, Corey told me that women tend to prefer screw caps, and I've found the same thing to be true. I have to admit that I favor screw caps when I'm opening lots of bottles at an event, but the wines in my cellar tend to have corks. What do you think? Listen to the Dusted Valley/Boomtown story below where you'll hear about screw caps, Roman goddesses, the virtues of northern Wisconsin oak for wine, differences between syrah and petite sirah, madam Squirrel Tooth Alice, why chardonnays are less buttery today than they once were, and much more.
Listen to the Interview: